Can LED Strip Lights Catch Fire?

can led strip lights catch fire

LEDs are becoming increasingly popular as a source of lighting in both commercial and residential settings. However, there is some concern that LED strip lights may be a fire hazard. This article will explore whether LED strip lights can catch fire and what precautions should be taken to avoid any potential danger.

To save your time, let me give the conclusion first:

LED strips are unlikely to cause a fire. The LED strip is not hot enough to ignite anything. The biggest risk is a short circuit or overloaded circuit. This is usually caused by the way they are mounted, rather than an issue with the LED strips themselves.

How can an incandescent bulb start a fire?

The principle of incandescent light is the thermal effect of electric current. Conduct enough current to the filament (tungsten filament), and the filament will heat up to an incandescent state (3000°C), and the filament will emit light with a warm color. About 10% of the power consumed can be converted into visible warm color light, and the luminous efficiency is low.

Under normal working conditions, the surface temperature of an incandescent lamp is about 180°C. If the incandescent lamp is working, it is very easy to cause a fire if it is close to the flammable material.

48v super long led strip

Do LED strip lights get hot?

LEDs are called cold light sources because LEDs directly convert electrical energy into light energy. Therefore, the luminous efficiency of LED is relatively high, 30%~50%. Compared with incandescent lamps, the working temperature of LED lamps is very low, generally 30~50 degrees Celsius.

Are LED strip lights too hot to harm you?

The human body feels hot when it touches an object at 40 degrees Celsius. When the temperature exceeds 50 degrees Celsius, it burns your skin.

In most cases, the temperature of the LED strip will not exceed 50 degrees Celsius. However, in some special cases, such as the use of high-powered high-density LED strip lights, or in applications where the ambient temperature is very high. Or the heat dissipation conditions are not good enough. This can cause the temperature of the LED strip to rise to 50 degrees. Normally, there is little chance that our skin will come into contact with the LED strip. But in case of contact, we can take some measures in advance, such as wearing gloves.

In short, it is best to keep LEDs away from easy access. This is safer for you, your children, and your pets.

Is a LED strip light possible to catch fire?

LED strips are unlikely to cause a fire. The LED strip is not hot enough to ignite anything. The biggest risk is a short circuit or overloaded circuit. This is usually caused by the way they are mounted, rather than an issue with the LED strips themselves.

A short circuit is the most likely to cause the LED strip to catch fire. Therefore, as far as possible, please choose to use a low-voltage LED strip and LED driver with short-circuit protection.

High-voltage LED strips refer to LED strips that can be directly connected to 110V or 220V mains, usually without short-circuit protection. However, our LEDYi’s high-voltage LED strips have short-circuit protection and lightning protection.

Is it safe to put on the LED strip light all day long?

The working temperature of LED strips is usually not high, between 30 and 50 degrees. So, it is safe to keep the LED strips on all day long. However, if you don’t have to, turn off LED strips whenever possible, as this saves on electricity bills and makes LED strips last longer.

Can LED strip light overheat?

For high-power and high-density LED strips, if they are not attached to aluminum profiles, they will overheat. This will speed up the light decay of the LED strip and reduce its life of the LED strip.

How many other fire-related risks with LED strips?

LED strips, especially low-voltage LED strips, are generally very safe. However, we need to find out as much as possible what could be causing the fire. In this way, we can use LED light strips with more confidence.

Here are some factors you need to avoid.

Used low-quality LED strips

Don’t use some low-priced, low-quality LED strips. These LED strips usually use low-quality raw materials, such as very little copper in the FPCB. Because of the use of low-quality LEDs, to make the LED strips brighter, the current of these LED strips is designed to be greater than the rated current of the LED lamp beads. These low-quality LED strips can heat up badly.

Used poor and cheap power supply

None Dimmable led driver

LED power is a very important part. We must never use low-quality LED power supplies. The output voltage of low-quality power supplies is unstable, sometimes higher than the voltage of the LED strip, which makes the LED strip overheat or even die.

The actual wattage of low-quality LED drivers will be lower than the wattage on the label, and the actual wattage is only 80% of the wattage of the label, or even lower.

When we connect the LED strip according to the wattage on the label, it will overload the current and cause overheating.

Low-quality LED drivers generally do not have short-circuit protection. When the wrong installation of the LED strip leads to a short circuit, if there is no short circuit protection, the current of the LED strip will be very large, overheating, and causing a fire.

For detailed information, please read the article How To Choose the Right LED Power Supply.

Wire size unmatched to strip light wattage

Before installing the LED strip or wiring, you must consider the wire that fits the circuit’s rated current value. The higher the power of the led strip, the larger the wire needed to avoid overheating and melting the wire to causing a fire. The amount of current is determined by a variety of factors, including the number and length of light strips. Therefore, before installation, you need to calculate the maximum current on the circuit and confirm the required wire size.

wire size current chart

Poor Installation

Make sure the joints are as tight as possible. Loose connections can result in excessive resistance, severe heat generation, and the potential for sparking. Use soldering instead of solderless connectors.

How to reduce the heat of LED strips?

Excessive heat will shorten the life of the LED, so we need to reduce the heat of the LED strip as much as possible.

Use LED aluminum profiles

led strip aluminum profiles

Attaching LED strips to aluminum profiles is a great way to reduce heat. Aluminum is a material with good heat dissipation properties and is affordable.

There are many other advantages of using aluminum profiles, you can read the article Ultimate Guide To Aluminum Profile For LED Strip.

Use dimmers and sensor switches

We don’t always need LED strips to work at their brightest or all the time. So we can use dimmers and sensor switches. By adding dimmers, we can reduce the brightness, and power of the LED strip, and thus reduce heat generation. Sensor switches can automatically turn off LED strips when no people are there, extending the service life of the LED light strip.

Use branded LED strips

Using brand high-quality LED strips may be more expensive, but they will last longer. The brand’s LED light strips can make you more comfortable to use without worrying about fire.

If you want to know more about LED strip brands, please read the following articles:

Top LED Strip Light Supplier In USA

Top LED Strip Light Supplier In Australia

Top LED Strip Light Supplier In UAE

Professional installation

You must find a professional qualified electrician to install the LED strip. 

Improper installation may cause the LED strip to not work properly, or even cause a fire.

FAQs

LED lights do not start a fire. Because the LED lamp is different from the incandescent lamp, it is a cold light source, and the working temperature is low, generally not exceeding 50 degrees Celsius, so it will not cause a fire.

LED lights do not start a fire. Because the LED lamp is different from the incandescent lamp, it is a cold light source, and the working temperature is low, generally not exceeding 50 degrees Celsius, so it will not cause a fire.

The average lifespan of LED strips is 54,000 hours.

More detailed information, please read the article How Long Do LED Strip Lights Last?

LED lights are unlikely to start a fire because LED lights operate at a low temperature and won’t ignite anything. The most likely cause of the fire is a short circuit or an overload. But this has nothing to do with LED lights, just because of incorrect use or installation.

When sleeping, it is best to turn off the LED strip. Although LED strips are safe and unlikely to start a fire. But open LED strips will affect the quality of sleep, especially LED lights containing a blue light band, blue light band will affect the person’s sleep.

LED strips do not consume a lot of electricity. These LED strips consume much less energy than traditional incandescent lamps. 

High-quality LED lights are long-lasting and can be left on all day and every day. However, this doesn’t have to be the case with cheap and poor-quality LED lights. Unlike traditional types of lights, LEDs generate very little heat, so they do not pose any risk of fire.

Do not cover the LED strip. This will cause the heat of the LED strip to be unable to dissipate, thereby shortening the life of the LED, and may even cause a fire.

Overheating of the LED light will shorten the life of the LED, accelerate the light decay, and in severe cases, it will permanently damage the LED light, and may even cause a fire.

LED is a cold light source, and the general working temperature is 30~50 degrees Celsius. But for some high-power LED lights without heat sinks, the temperature may be higher than 50 degrees Celsius.

LEDs cannot melt plastic, because the operating temperature of LEDs is generally 30~50 degrees Celsius.

LED strips need heat sinks, aluminum profiles, or aluminum channels to help dissipate heat quickly. Without this, the lifetime of LED strips will be reduced and light decay will be accelerated.

Conclusion

LED strip lights are not likely to catch fire. However, as with any electrical product, there is always a small risk of fire. To reduce the risk of fire, make sure to buy LED strip lights from a reputable source and follow the installation instructions carefully.

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